May 14, 2012 News
…Brassington statements akin to a pleading criminal about to be jailed – Ramjattan
Recent statements by Executive Director of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington on the state of affairs of the finances for the Government Holdings Company are akin to those of a criminal about to be incarcerated.
This is according to Alliance for Change (AFC) Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, who says that the NICIL’s Executive Director’s statement now claiming that NICIL’s coffers only contain $700M as against the billions touted is very “circumspect.”
“I don’t believe him,” said Ramjattan.
The AFC Chairman says that Brassington is now “behaving like a criminal who has been caught and now is about to give a statement.”
“Where are the billions invested?” asked Ramjattan. He called on the NICIL Director to not only make verbal pronouncements but also to produce tangible documentation.
He said that the NICIL Executive Director must not only make oral statements broadly saying that NICIL only has $700M and the rest has been invested.
Ramjattan said that Brassington must immediately provide documents detailing all of NICIL investments so that there can be a determination of where the money is.
While Ramjattan is in full support of his colleague Parliamentarian, Carl Greenidge’s call for taxpayers to take private action against NICIL, he is opposed to the proposed method.
The veteran parliamentarian says that should a private lawsuit be filed against NICIL then the ‘sub judice’ regulations would apply and the matter cannot be deliberated in the House until its determination in the Courts.
As such he is advocating that the matter be fully ventilated in the House before private action is taken.
Until such time, Ramjattan says that he is eagerly awaiting the documents from NICIL, detailing where and how NICIL’s billions are invested.
Ramjattan maintains that the company has billions under its control whether in investments or liquid in bank accounts.
Brassington on Saturday sought to clear the air on NICIL finances and told this publication that its accounts hold some $700M and the majority of its proceeds over recent years have been invested.
Brassington says that when monies are netted by NICIL, the company has three options.
He said that overhead expenditures are met, dividends are paid and the company can invest.
Brassington was quick to caution, however, that the $700M represents only that which is in NICIL accounts as a singular entity and would only include proceeds from the Privatization Unit.
The Privatization Unit, according to Brassington, falls under NICIL accounts given that it is not an independent legal entity but rather, an arm or agent of NICIL.
He said that the $700M referred to as reflected in NICIL accounts, does not reflect the accounts of any of the subsidiaries of NICIL.
The Subsidiary Companies that NICIL controls include the Guyana National Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Chronicle, NCN, GUYOIL, National Edible Oil Company, Guyana National Printers Limited, Linden Electricity Company and Guyana National Shipping Corporation. It has shares in several other companies including Guyana Stockfeeds Limited and more recently, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company and the Pegasus.
The accumulated monies in these accounts are still unknown publicly.
Speaking to Opposition criticism that NICIL’s money does not find its way into the Consolidated Fund, Brassington pointed this publication to the 2012 Budget Estimates which illustrate a figure of $744.2M being paid to the Consolidated Fund from NICIL as “Dividends from Equity Holdings.”
The 2012 Budget Estimates point also to some $454M paid to the Consolidated Fund for 2010 and a projection of some $600M to be paid over this year.
The 2011 Budgetary Estimates illustrate also that some $1.2B was paid over from the Consolidate Fund from NICIL in 2009.
According to the most recently available Auditor General’s Report (2010) “the amount of $475M reflected as Dividends from Non-financial Institutions was received from the Guyana Oil Company as dividends for 2008, while the sum of $454M shown as Dividends from Equity Holdings includes amounts totalling $154M and $300M, which represents amounts received from NICIL for Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and (BOSAI) respectively.”
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